2.05.2007

# 6

“Unprogrammed Quaker worship wouldn’t appeal to low income or ethnic/racial minorities."

This is an excuse for why our meetings are not more diverse. Mostly I hear this as something “other people think,” not the person speaking.

All I can say is that unprogrammed Quaker worship speaks to my condition. Or rather, unprogrammed Quaker worship allows God to speak to me. Or maybe it’s that Quaker worship assists me to hear God speaking to me.

However you want to phrase this, the real problem is that most people in low income or ethnic minorities haven’t heard of unprogrammed Quaker worship. Oh, kind of like the majority, huh?

Who was it that said that the real problem isn’t that Christianity has been tried and failed, but that Christianity has been found difficult and therefore not tried? Unprogrammed worship can be like that too.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Laurie Kruczek said...

"Who was it that said that the real problem isn’t that Christianity has been tried and failed, but that Christianity has been found difficult and therefore not tried? Unprogrammed worship can be like that too."

Same with programmed worship for those Friends who feel the only way to worship is the unprogrammed way. I have noticed that Quakers attending unprogrammed meetings have no clue that most programmed worship includes at least one very long segment of silent worship. I encourage any Friend who has not attended a Friend's Church before to do so. I think they may be pleasantly surprised.

2/06/2007 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was G. K. Chesterton who made the comment about Christianity being difficult and therefore not tried.

This stereotyping of people "not like us" as unable to appreciate/participate in open worship is a serious problem. Why are we generally unwilling even to try to share the news about this good thing we've found among Quakers?

--llw

2/08/2007 7:26 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Laurie, my few experiences with programmed and semi-programmed worship have been good. It's also true that not all or even most programmed worship includes a long segment of silent worship. That depends on how you define "very long." I would define long as more than 15 minutes. I think that 5-15 minutes is more the norm, but I can't say that for sure.

Llw, thanks for the reference. My other favorite Chesterton quote is a poem:

The snail does the Holy
Will of God slowly.

I don't know why we're not more willing to share the news. If I were clearer on this, I'd probably be doing more about it than just blogging it as a problem. If you have better solutions, I'd love to hear them.

2/08/2007 2:01 PM  
Blogger Laurie Kruczek said...

It seems 15 to 20 minutes is the norm I have witnessed at programmed meetings. I am not concerned about exact time, though, as it is usually sufficient for me.

I often trade with my husband over child-watching times at our unprogrammed meeting (then we each have 20-30 minutes of silent worship). As long as the silence is there, and thoughts are calm enough to center down, it works.

I have much more to write about this, but I will save my opinion for my blog post this week. I don't want your lovely list to be tarnished by my stronger feelings on this subject.

2/17/2007 4:45 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I wonder how many people who actually are low income or ethnic/racial minorities are saying this? I love it when people speculate. *sigh*

12/07/2007 2:29 AM  

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